If you haven’t heard yet, the old guys are coming back. Jay-Z, 38 years old, Dr. Dre, 42 years old, and LL Cool J, age 39, have all announced they will be releasing albums within the next 12 months. As this marks a comeback for the three old dudes, it begs the question when is it time to call it quits?
For starters, all look old as hell but all three have been in the gym trying to get buff or die tryin’ for their videos and album covers. Secondly, this is like the 10 millionth time either of these old guys have made a “come back” whether real or perceived marketing ploy. Thirdly, if the average rap listener is between 12 and 30 years old, is it possible that these old guy’s can relate to the myspace generation? Really none of the above matters.
As long as the music is relevant and it is promoted (and I use that term lightly in this case) an artist can sell forever. Jay-Z said on “Reasonable Doubt”, “Mind’s thinken’ longevity till I’m seventy” and even though “Kingdom Come” was sorta of a “refresher” for Hov, I suspect he has polished his flow enough to spar with his “Blueprint” self for his latest disc, “American Gangster“. Dr. Dre, a self-proclaimed perfectionist, has only released an album every eight years! Contrast this with other artist who put out albums every year and fall the heck off after their second one. LL Cool J, well he’s LL. He’s on his 13th album since signing to a little know record company called Def Jam in 1985! That’s before most rap fans were born. Although LL hasn’t been “hot” since he dropped “Doin’ it” he has still been able to go platinum or gold on every album he has dropped. But what about the “space” these artist occupy while younger up and coming artist are giving the back seat in terms of label resources, radio and video air time?
[LOL @ LL dissing Jay-Z here after Jigga threw some jabs in the "I Get Money (remix)"]
Really, it’s every man for them self. If Jay-Z takes a beat from the Neptunes that could have went to Jae Millz, so be it. It is up to the younger artist to push these old farts out of the game as this is what Jigga, Dre and LL did to their predecessors when they were coming up. So if younger artist are upset at the older artist taking their “shine”, don’t complain about it, go back to the studio. Put these old guys in the KRS-One bin. GO!
Also check out this deal for 500 free songs from Itunes (only for U.S residents). It’s good to stock up on some hard to find music, not to mention legal downloads that support the artist. Plus, Itunes makes it easier to find the damn song anyway.